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A Guide To Declining Job Offers

A Guide To Declining Job Offers

August 26, 2021

Receiving a job offer can be very flattering, but sometimes it just isn’t the right job for you. Perhaps you’ve already accepted a position elsewhere, or maybe you realised at the interview that you just weren’t a good fit with the company’s culture. In such cases, declining a job offer is the best course of action, but it can be difficult to know how to do it sensitively and appropriately.

In today’s candidate-led job market, more applicants are receiving multiple job offers, so it isn’t too surprising that this is an increasing problem. That’s why we’re bringing you this helpful guide so you can avoid making a mistake.

Should I Reject This Job?

The first thing you need to determine is whether you really want to reject the offer. There are a number of reasons why you may be considering rejection:

  • You’ve already been offered and accepted another job.
  • The salary isn’t high enough – if this is the case, you may be able to find out whether negotiating salaries is possible, particularly if all of the other elements of the position appeal to you.
  • The job isn’t quite as it was advertised.
  • You’re worried that the company is in poor financial shape or that the management is substandard.
  • You have personal reasons, such as having too long a commute or having to stay overnight away from home, or any other life change you don’t want to make.

You should think very carefully if you’re only rejecting a job offer because you’re waiting to hear back from another opportunity or because there’s somebody working on the team that you dislike.

Declining A Position By Telephone

If you need to decline a job offer over the telephone you should do it by speaking, whenever possible, to the person who offered you the post, explaining briefly why you’d like to decline and thanking them for offering you the opportunity. Make sure to say positive things about the company, role or process and be candid, but tactful about your reasons for not accepting. Don’t dwell on any negatives or criticise the company. Make sure the conversation ends positively too.

Declining A Post By Email Or Letter

Although it’s considered to be polite to telephone the company in order to reject an offer of employment, you should confirm your decision in writing by either email or letter. You should keep the communication concise and clear, taking time to thank the employer for offering you the opportunity and saying it was a hard decision to make but you’re going to decline.

Explain your reasons briefly and tactfully before ending with a positive statement. Make sure you address the letter or email to the individual who offered you the post and include your contact details, address and name. Also, ensure that you’ve proofread everything before sending.

Don’t Burn Your Bridges

If you’re declining the position for a reason that could cause offence, it’s important to be very careful when turning the job down. Don’t burn your bridges. Saying something tactful instead such as “I’ve realised that it’s the wrong time to leave my current position” is a good way to refuse the post without offending anyone.


For more information, get in touch with our expert team today.

01225 805080

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